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A Meeting of Like Minds - Ch 1

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#1 Guest_VigaHrolf_*

Posted 22 February 2004 - 04:03 PM

Blood dripped into her right eye, dribbling out from where her helm had torn into her forehead. It was an odd injury, but then again, catching the business end of a dragonís tail slap was a pretty odd occurrence for her as well. She took a moment, just a moment to wipe some of the blood away and see more clearly.

Not that her opponent was hard to miss. Firkraag was huge, his red scales glistening with unbelievable conceit and menace. But those scales glistened with something else now. With steaming hot dragonís blood that swirled over the mirrored surfaces and lay in pools and splatters all over his den. Her companions had done a great deal of damage to the ancient red, his scales scarred and pitted from Kelseyís and Janís magics and further battered by hers, Anomenís, Jaheriaís, and Valygarís determined strikes. And as she regained her footing, she intended to a great deal more.

Blade readied, she charged back into the thick of the fray, aiming for Firkraagís battered chest, where foreleg met wing. Jaheiraís scimitar had bitten deep there, peeling off a few scales and leaving inviting, open flesh. Jaheira herself seemed in a bad way, still fighting, still indomitable, but now favoring a right leg. A leg that looked seared from dragon fire. Anomen seemed to be faring better, the Flail doing its work against dragon hide and trying to draw the dragonís attention from his weakened compatriots.

Two steps away from the dragon, she saw it move. The damn thing was bleeding from two dozen wounds but still it moved faster than anything that size had right to. It turned a quarter facing and attacked Valygar. The stoic ranger tried to dodge, but one of his blades would not free itself from the tender spot he had poked. With an earth trembling shout, the dragon lashed out with a claw, catching the ranger full on the chest. Even over the sounds of battle, she heard him cry out, saw him spin away and slam into the near wall.

And not get up. Not even move.

Firkraag looked down at the fallen warrior and laughed. ďOne by one I will crush you all like the insects you are! And then, I will feast on your warmed flesh. Saving Gorionís little ward for my dessert! And you shall make such a..ARGHHH!!Ē The dragon taunt turned to a scream.

Using strength born of preternatural rage, she ripped the blade free from the base of the dragonís throat and hewed her heavy blade into dragon flesh once more. Firkraag screamed again, lashing out with his claws. Once claw found purchase against her, tearing free pauldron and laying open flesh.

Joining her scream to that of the ancient dragon, Aleria struck once more, driving Lilracor deep into the dragonís chest, slamming it deep, past the hilts, past her hands, then to her elbows into the foul chest. Finally, the blade found the dragonís black heart and she felt the blade twist as it drove into this powerful muscle. Then, with one powerful wrench of hips and shoulders, she twisted the idiot blade.

Firkraag screamed, head and neck straining for the heavens. His howl bounced off the walls, reverberating off the roof and pillars that lined the nest. So loud was it that little bits of stone worked loose from the ceiling and bounced down, their sound drowned out by the death throes of one of the most powerful creatures on Faerun. The dragon thrashed and howled, and still, Aleria pushed the blade deeper. With one last thrash and howl, mighty Firkraag collapsed, his ancient head slamming into the old paving stones with a terrible crash.

Then, silence reigned. After the deafening roar of battle, the sound of labored breathing and small fires crackling barely reached her ears while the pounding of the blood in her veins rivaled that of Firkraagís death cry. Putting one mailed boot on the dragonís carcass, she began hauling Lilarcor free. It took effort and more steaming blood burbled out as she finally worked the heavy blade free. She paid little heed to the demented swordís ramblings about its victory nor its shrill demands for cleaning. Instead, she glared at the dragonís head, green fire seeming to burn beneath blood and soot soaked brow.

Finally, once her passion had cooled to the point she could speak again, she spat, ďNo dessert for you. You couldnít even finish your meal. Bad dragon.Ē Grinning a bit madly, she sank down to one knee, her mail splashing more hot blood all over her.

Leaning heavily on her complaining blade, she looked over to where Valygar had landed. Jaheria and Anomen had already moved to the fallen rangerís side, Jaheiraís face drawn in pain and not solely from her own wounds. She saw Jan and Kelsey moving to Valygarís side, but Aleria knew enough of her old friend and guardian to know it would take powerful healing magics to bring Valygar back from the pale. Even if he wanted to.

Pushing herself back to her feet despite the exhaustion, she took a step to where her friends had gathered around one of their own. But only one step, because she felt a presence, a presence so powerful that it sang in her mind. It sang of peace and right and driving back evil, its voice like a chorus of angels. And yet despite all that beauty, there was great sadness and loneliness. It had been alone for so long, trapped in this den of evil, cut off from its life, from its duty. Now it was free and it saw a kindred spirit, so it called to her, its voice echoing in the cathedral of her soul.

She wanted to go to her friends, but this presence was too powerful. It drew her, like a lodestone drew iron shavings. She could resist it, but the call was so tempting, she did not want to. Slowly, one foot went in front of another, taking her towards a pile of gold. Where the singer was trapped, where it had been imprisoned for long years.

Her speed increased, her mailed feet now pounding across the stone floor towards the prison of the singer. She was so close, and the song now sang louder in her ears and deeper in her soul. The loneliness of the song began to fade, now burgeoned by a new flush of hope, like the first splash of color against winterís white. She heard another set of footsteps behind her, a concerned voice calling out, but the songís need was greater.

Closer she came, feet sending piles of coins, silvered plates, and other riches scattering across the ancient floor. She was close now, she could feel it, taste it, touch it. It was mere inches away and the song began to crescendo. Falling to her knees before the singerís prison, she shoved away piles of coin and jeweled goblets with fevered desperation. It took her mere seconds to uncover a sword hilt, wrapped in rich leather with gold and steel chased hilts. It glowed, pulsing with the song that rang in her soul.

Taking a deep breath, she peeled off her blood soaked gauntlets and reached out, wrapping her hands around the beautiful hilt. As her hands closed around the grip, the song exploded in her mind as sheets of pleasure, joy, and hope washed over her mind and soul.

Amidst the swirling feeling and song, Aleria asked Who.. who are you?

A voice as pleasant and reassuring as the mother she had never met replied, I am Carsomyr.

And then there was nothing but the song.

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